Timeline - HP People Stories

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Hewlett Packard People Stories

 

In the long sweep of HP history, there have been so many wonderful characters who we all knew. Maybe they wouldn't get hired in later years because their personalities were so different, and in large organizations the tendency is to make your workforce more similar as you grow. More uniformity rather than less.

This HP Memory section is devoted to short personality profiles of these exceptionally different individuals who stick in our memories. EVERYONE knew at least one of these unique people and can contribute their remembrance of that person. They made the work at HP interesting and one reason we liked to come to work in the morning.

Our objective is that these memories can be shared with others who probably also knew that person. Every reader should consider themselves a contributor to offer a personality profile of your favorite HP person. Please get in touch using the Contact US form.

 

The Sub-Title might be: "Unforgettable Characters I Knew at HP"

 

 

Bill & Dave Stories

This archive of HP People Stories could have no more legendary subjects than Bill and Dave themselves. Their company work culture meant the world to all of us employees, during those Golden Years of High Tech, and they often showed their humanity in their ordinary interactions with employees. We are soliciting such memories of every HP person who might have had a meeting or event with Bill or Dave in their career at HP. Help us preserve these wonderful memories.

 

 

Bill & Dave Stories . . .

 

 

Bill Hewlett and the HP Medical Plan

Bill Hewlett and the HP Medical Plan

 

Barry Fowler tells the story about a premature baby which might have led to Hewlett-Packard's enlightened medical plan for employees, in the 1950's. Early employees were told that the comprehensive benefit of medical coverage was triggered by an event that Bill Hewlett experienced when one HP family, (perhaps the Navarro's), faced an enormous hospital bill for treatment of their baby. This is probably that case. . . .

 

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George Springer
Mr. Divisional Sales Engineer

George Springer

 

It's the 1970s. You're an HP Field Engineer, working out of the Great Eastern Sales Region, scrambling to meet quota. Luckily HP has set up the 1970s equivalent of a technical 911 number or a computer help line, called the Division Sales Support Dept. The man who picks up the phone at the Stanford Park Division is George Springer. . .

 

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Noel (Ed) Porter
His Honor, Mayor of Palo Alto

Noel Porter

 

Noel Porter was truly one of the most unforgettable characters among our unique HP managers in our great company. Ed was a Stanford classmate of Bill and Dave (and a radio tech buddy of Barney). They asked him to join them in their business during the war, but he was a Navy officer and couldn't join until discharged. He was famous as a kid for being selected by GE as "the smartest kid in California," by getting the top score in a test they gave throughout the state. It was said that Bill Hewlett, who was in the U.S. Army, posted to the Pentagon during WWII, recommended Ed to the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships, where he served in the infrared engineering dept.

 

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Remembering Bob Boniface

Bob Boniface

By: Betty Haines

How very lucky we were, those of us who worked at Hewlett Packard's "Stanford Plant" in the 1960 and 1970's, we truly got to walk with the giants who created Silicon Valley and Bob Boniface was one of these giants. Above and beyond being one of the giants who created Silicon Valley , he was a great mentor - way back in the days before mentor became an overused buzz word - and a loyal friend.

 

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Mr. Enthusiasm - Bob Brunner

Bob Brunner

I don't remember ANY employee in all of HP who was more upbeat and enthusiastic than Bob Brunner. Even when his job assignment was Sales Manager of oscilloscopes, with the competitive mountain of Tektronix to climb, he approached his task with his typical positive attitude. We are indebted to Bob's daughter, Nancy Grove, to Paul Carlson, of the Tennessee Land Trust, and to Cort van Rensselaer, who was a contemporary of Bob's in those early HP years, for some remembrances in contributing to this HP People Story. He achieved a 34-year career with the company he loved.

 

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Egon Loebner

Egon Loebner

 

Egon was another of the true geniuses who populated the HP Laboratories. He had joined HP in 1961, from RCA Advanced Laboratories at Princeton, NJ, as an expert on electro-luminescence. I got to know Egon, as my little product development group at HPA Division was beginning to develop light emitting diodes for numeric indicators.

 

 

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Lyle Jevons

Lyle Jevons

 

Although retired from HP since the mid 1970’s, many of the people from the old Microwave Division remember Lyle well, and his personal impact on HP microwave business. About 1960, Bruce Wholey hired Lyle from another microwave company, PRD, the Polytechnic R&D. It was a business spinoff of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Lyle was an application engineer and was known to HP field sales engineers as a very helpful person for the PRD sales people.

 

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Ross Snyder

Ross Snyder

One of the true gentlemen who ever worked at HP had to be Ross Snyder, who was responsible for our Technical PR and the trade press relations.

In the 60’s, the product division's marketing staffs worked through central groups in the corporate offices to accomplish our product advertising and technical publicity objectives. All of our new product and technical applications output was funneled through a professional PR wordsmith, Ross Snyder. As divisional contacts, Dean Abramson and myself had a long working experience with Ross, and we always found him the consummate professional PR man.

 

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Norena Gutierrez, HP Lights

Norena Gutierrez

A couple of years ago, the HP Retired Employee Club newsletter published a wonderful poem, written by Norena Gutierrez, a 23-year HR employee, most recently working at Boise. I confess that it left me and a lot of us with a lump in our throat and perhaps a tear in our eyes. It absolutely expressed the way most of us felt inside, as we looked back on our own decades of hard work for OUR company. I decided that I would like to include it in my Narrative History of HP to express in a real way our love for our workplace.

 

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